Friday, December 16, 2016

Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo Returns in 2017

Its been ages since I have posted, bad me but life gets busy when you are farming in the great weather that we had this year. As 2016 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you who have supported the Ladner Community Garden over the years. In the spring we had such a wait list that we released six more raised beds for eager gardeners. Going into 2017 we have a new list so we will be looking at finding space once again. 

Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo Returns in 2017

 I have been working on Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2017 which is scheduled for Saturday, February 18, 2017 at the Ladner United Church. Please note that our venue has changed this year. I think the acoustics in the church will be awesome. I have a great lineup of speakers for the event. Brian Minter will open the show at 10:00am with a lively and entertaining talk about whats new and funky in food gardening. Our vendors will be back with all sorts of garden goodies for you. Tropic to Tropic is back with their array of plants. Can you say avocado and lemon trees? Of course, with this cold wintry weather I am not thinking about the garden right now.

Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo Returns in 2017

I love this photo of the fresh tulips from last years event. Seedy Saturday is truly the kickoff to the gardening season. If you are like me, seed catalogues have begun to arrive for winter reading.

Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo Returns in 2017

Our annual seed swap will be held at Seedy Saturday so save your seeds to trade. Remember the purpose behind Seedy Saturdays is to support seed diversity and small seed suppliers. Bring your seeds packed in small amounts in envelopes to make it easier for our volunteers to organize. Seeds should arrive first thing in the morning so we can start off with a good selection. Trading will begin at 10:00am. Please bring fresh seed that isn't older than two years so the next person will be successful growing your seed out.

Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo Returns in 2017

Seedy Saturdays were started by our small seed growers and without them our heirloom seeds could disappear. I grew a very unique seed called Painted Mountain Corn this year and loved it. It was like Christmas opening each cob as every cob was a different colour. I will probably have some seeds to trade at the event. Good news this corn is edible as well as pretty.

So save the date: February 18, 2017
Where: Ladner United Church, 4960 48th Avenue, Delta, BC
When: 9:30am-4:00pm
Seed Swap:10:00 am-3:00pm
Vendor contact: Kristin Crouch-604-946-8654

Friday, June 24, 2016

June Brings Huge Yields in the Garden

June Brings Huge Yields in the Garden

June has brought a mix of sun and rain this month and the weather is so different than last year. The rain has crops looking fantastic this month. Just walking the garden makes me hungry. You can't say that about a flower garden, now can you? Kale is now available in so many varieties. Being a biennial  vegetable you get two seasons from this crop if you leave it all winter. The second year it will flower and produce its seed pods. Be sure to taste the new flower buds as they are delicious. 

June Brings Huge Yields in the Garden

 I am so jealous of these salad greens. Look at the size of them!

June Brings Huge Yields in the Garden

The peas in this allotment garden are the most interesting vegetable I have seen. Both the flowers  and pods are a deep purple making it a striking colour in the garden. This one is called Purple Mist peas and its a shelling pea but young pods can be used for eating while still tender.

June Brings Huge Yields in the Garden

 Below the peas this allotment gardener has Swiss chard, red lettuce and a new crop on the go. Its important to never leave bare soil when you are growing vegetables. Make the soil work for you and plan what will be planted after the first crop is finished.

June Brings Huge Yields in the Garden

This Swiss chard is almost too pretty to eat. I get more questions on how to cook Swiss chard so if you have suggestions, let us know in the comments. Its a busy time at the community garden as we plant our crops, place our supports in and keep up with the harvesting. Some of our allotment gardeners grow their crops for the seed. In this case you may see crops that look like no one is harvesting them. Its good to leave a few peas on the vines to dry out so you have seed for the following year. Its the same with kale as it begins to flower and form its seed pods. Now is the time to collect seeds from these crops as they finish off.
Before I close I have some exciting news. The Ladner Community Garden Society will be holding their annual Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo on February 18, 2017 at the Ladner United Church. There will be more to come as the event comes closer.

Friday, May 20, 2016

May in the Ladner Community Garden

May in the Ladner Community Garden

 Its been a busy spring at the Ladner Community garden. All our allotment beds are full and we have started a wait list for 2017. Can you believe that? Its only May. In fact if you want a garden bed at the community garden its best to apply in the fall. By the end of January we know if people will stay another year and which garden plots will be empty. Monday mornings have volunteers working on making this the best community garden. Red poppies have taken over the back corner of the garden and we have a few escapees further afar. I love how they sway in the breeze amongst the tall grass. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

 This allotment garden is not only maximizing the space allotted but the lettuce will love this shade from the large leaves nearby.

May in the Ladner Community Garden

 I am always amazed at how much you can grow in 40 square feet of soil. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

Asparagus fronds reach to the sky in this garden. Its just about to flower and I wonder if collecting seed would be a good idea. I will have to ask the gardener of this large garden. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

Peas are every one's favourite to grow in the garden. I like that they have used a strong support for their peas instead of string. I like to use netting. That's the thing about community gardens. You learn how to grow different crops and methods from everyone around you. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

The arbor as you enter the garden is adorned with beautiful Clematis. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

 Old fashioned roses clamber up and over the side of the arbor. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

 Now is the season for Sweet William or Dianthus barbatus. Its easy to grow from seed and so colourful in the garden. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

A pink rose peeks from around a corner. 

May in the Ladner Community Garden

Today we had a scout and guide group come to help in the garden. They all helped to create this herb wheel. Its not quite finished. We need to fill the large triangular areas with soil and add a few more rocks. The design is complete and the rest will be easy. We look forward to planting this new herb garden. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

It's Time to Plant Cool Season Crops

Its Time to Plant Cool Season Crops

With the weather starting to clear it's time to think cool season plants for the vegetable garden. If you are growing in raised beds at the community garden, it's time to plant radishes, peas, kale, spinach, lettuce and onion sets.

Its Time to Plant Cool Season Crops

Check out the garden centers now for the best selection in seed potatoes. Remember to rotate your crops so you don't plant the same crop in the same spot this year. By rotating your crops you will minimize problems with pests and disease.
If you haven't topped off your gardens with compost, manure or new soil, do this before you plant. With the rainfall we receive over the winter, nutrients are leached out of the soil. Its time to feed the soil so it can feed your plants.

Its Time to Plant Cool Season Crops

Direct sow peas in the garden as they don't like to be transplanted. Be sure to add a support system using poles and netting for the tendrils to cling to. If you like to save your own seed, look for open pollinated types of peas such as Lincoln Homesteader. Open pollinated seeds come true each year unlike their hybrid cousins.
Be sure to keep your seeds watered until they germinate. If seeds dry out they will die. Once they are up and growing you won't need to water as often. Its usually in late April that we start to get a dry spell. Do a finger test to see if the soil is damp a few inches below the surface. If it's damp don't water your seedlings. You want to encourage the plants roots to go down deep to look for moisture. Frequent watering has plant roots in the top part of the soil and that means extra watering. Let's not be slaves to our gardens this summer. Water well once each week and apply a mulch of straw, hay or leaves to keep moisture from evaporating.
Happy gardening,

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Thanks to All for Your Support at Ladner Seedy Saturday

Ladner Seedy Saturday
Alex from West Coast Seeds 

Last weekend we held another successful Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo. People arrived as early as 9:00am trying to get in early. Lucky for us it was a nice day out so no one froze to death.  The parking filled up in the first few minutes. Thanks to the flagging staff who helped our customers find the overload parking and the shuttle bus to the event. I have had nothing but good comments about the staff.

Ladner Seedy Saturday
Jim the Kelpman

The vendors were kept busy all day long selling everything from seeds to plants and garden accessories. We strive to have something for everyone.

Ladner Seedy Saturday
Jassen's plant display

Our speakers did some amazing talks this year. We learned from Egan Davis about growing plants in sand and how well it works. Who knew? This type of gardening is taking place in Sweden and is very successful. It turns out the plants need little watering once established.

Ladner Seedy Saturday
David Catzel talks about seeds

David Catzel talked about seed saving and breeding. I learned that I need a lot more growing space to do breeding. Growing 200 plants to select seed from is a huge task.
Conway Lum talked about fruit trees and had a question and answer period. He could have answered questions for an hour as there was lots of interest. We all love to grow food including fruit.
Our last speaker was Randy Shore from the Vancouver Sun. Randy shared excerpts from his book and answered many garden questions.
The Kids Zone had a colouring and planting project upstairs and seem to be well attended.

Ladner Seedy Saturday
Big Fruit Company selling apples

We want to thank our vendors, customers, speakers, the Corporation of Delta and the volunteers for making this such a special day. We will be back again next year.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Three More Sleeps Until Ladner Seedy Saturday!

Three More Sleeps until Ladner Seedy Saturday!
Its only two days away and we are ready to welcome you to Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016.

Three More Sleeps Until Ladner Seedy Saturday!

Have you packed your seeds to bring to our seed swap? Try placing them in an envelope with the name of the plant, the year you bought or harvested the seed and some information about your plant. Bring your seeds to trade between 10:00am-10:30am and the swap begins as soon as all the seeds are organized. I am always thrilled to find something new to try in my vegetable garden.

Three More Sleeps Until Ladner Seedy Saturday!

We are passionate about gardening and whether its flowers or vegetables its all up to you. Let's celebrate the beginning of the new gardening season by coming together to enjoy a day of plant delights and education.

Three More Sleeps Until Ladner Seedy Saturday!

Learn from our speakers about everything from fruit trees to saving seeds. There is so much to learn and this is the best place to come if you are just getting started.
The VanDusen master gardeners will be on site to answer any garden questions.
Parking is always a premium at the Harris Barn so park your cars on the gravel parking lot at Sacred Heart church and catch the shuttle bus to the event.
Come enjoy the food trucks on site for a nice cup of coffee or lunch. Remember the event opens at 10:00am and closes at 4:00pm. There is something to do for the whole family.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016 Welcomes Our Vendors

We want to introduce our vendors today. You will be able to meet our vendors at Ladner Seedy Saturday on February 20, 2016. The vendors will be located on the lower floor of the Harris Barn at 4140 Arthur drive in Ladner. The event opens from 10:00am-4:00pm.

Bartlett Tree Services-They offer a variety of services to keep your trees and shrubs in healthy condition. Call them to help diagnose any tree or shrub problem. Remember trees add value to your property.
West Coast Seeds-Offering a large source of certified organic and heirloom seeds, this company is a big supporter in our community with donations of seed to various programs.
Westham Island Herb Farm- The Ellis farm is well known for its locally grown produce, seasonal displays and events such as a 'Day at the Farm' which is held every September.
Mike & Sandy's Berry Farm-They will be bringing blueberry bushes and vegetable starts to get your garden growing.
Usana Health Sciences-Lynn has a selection of healthy living products for all to enjoy.
Y-Grip Tools- Meet Paul Carr who sells this versatile tool to make your gardening easier and less work.
South Delta Garden Club-This local garden club has been in Delta since 1952. With over 100 members it supports several community projects such as the Healing Garden at Delta Hospital.
Kurtis Photography-Kurtis is a young photographer specializing in unique photo cards. Check out his beautiful nature shots.
J & J Enterprises- Come see what new plants Jassen has to offer this year. He is passionate about growing plants and has worked in the nursery business for over 25 years.
Cottage Pantry Gourmet Edibles- Peggy Keenleyside will be selling her gourmet edibles. From jellies to chutneys, Peggy has something for every one's taste.
The Big Fruit Company-Steve has been a vendor at the North Delta Farmer's Market and is bringing his products to Ladner. He will have bags of delicious apples and apple chips.
Waterwikka Watering Device-This is a device used to save water in our gardens. After our drought last year this may be the time to try one out.
Merrie Ellen Wilcox-Author of 'What's the Buzz? Keeping Bees in Flight'. Come meet Merrie Ellen as she spreads her passion for bees.
Urban Bee Supplies- Lindsay is a local supplier of bee keeping supplies. Come hear about her new location in Ladner.
Ladner Community Garden Society-Our community garden volunteers will be on hand to show you what we are all about.
Corporation of Delta- The Delta Engineering department will be on hand to answer your recycling and sustainability questions. Sign up for some sustainable garden classes. They are free to residents of Delta.
The Kelpman- Bringing the best in organic kelp fertilizers and gardening solutions to your garden.
Tara Blown Glass- Tara is a local glass blower and will be revealing a brand new product at the show. Glass is beautiful used in the garden and one of the latest gardening trends.
Randy Shore-Author of 'Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow'. Randy Shore is well know as the Food, Science and Sustainability blogger for the Vancouver Sun. He is a former professional cook and self taught food gardener. You can listen to his podcast here. Randy will also be speaking at our event.

We also have two amazing food trucks coming. The Gypsytrunk Vegan Food will have her delicious vegan offerings for lunch from 11-3. We also have Petra's by L'Aromas coming to bring us our needed coffee and delectable goodies.
So come to Ladner Seedy Saturday and Garden Expo 2016. There will be something for everyone. Parking is located on location and there will be a shuttle bus running from the gravel parking lot at Sacred Heart Church for those who can't find a spot. Disabled parking is directly in front of the barn entrance and we are equipped with an elevator for those who need it.
To get to the Harris Barn, here is a link for directions to Ladner Seedy Saturday.
We hope to see you there.

Kristin Crouch
Ladner Community Garden Society
Event Organizer

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Egan Davis - Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016

We are excited to announce our fourth speaker for Ladner Seedy Saturday. Egan Davis will be speaking at 1:00 pm on February 20, 2016. Egan Davis is well known in the lower mainland of BC. He is the instructor for the Horticulture Training program at UBC. Egan has a life long passion for horticulture and nature and it shows when he talks. In 2010, Egan was nominated as educator of the year by the BC Landscape and Nursery Association. He has been featured on television, radio and in the newspaper.
Egan used to manage the plant collections at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, BC. I remember going on a tour of the garden with him and he knew every inch of it and all the botanical names of the plants. He would tell us of his vision for the garden and you could see his passion by the way he loved his work.
Egan now teaches at the University of British Columbia and loves working with his students. He is an award winning gardener and is knowledgeable in everything from garden design to greenhouse management. The last talk I heard from him was on how to do cuttings in your garden. I look forward to hearing him speak at Ladner Seedy Saturday.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016 Presents Conway Lum

Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016 is less than a month away. The executive team from the Ladner Community Garden Society is busy getting everything organized. Today we want to share with you one of our speakers at the event. I have heard Conway Lum speak before and he is an excellent speaker. He can answer any of your gardening questions. His presentation will be about fruit trees and their quirks. Have you had problems with your fruit trees? I know many of us have issues with scab on apples and other fungal diseases. I have also been asked why certain trees don't produce fruit. Now is your time to come and ask your questions. Conway will be speaking at 11:30am on February 20 at the Harris Barn in Ladner. All of our speakers are located upstairs at the barn.

Here is a bio about Conway Lum.

Conway Lum is currently working for GardenWorks@Mandeville (originally Mandeville Garden Centre located at corner of Nelson St. and Marine Drive, Burnaby) since 1988. He started out in the nursery but is now in garden supplies/information desk conducting most of the in-house seminars/workshops.
Conway has a long list of achievements. He was recipient of the “Garden Communicator of the Year Award” by BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) for 2012 and is a contributor to the “Ask-the-Pro” column in BC Living  (Garden Wise) Magazine. He even finds time to be an evening instructor for New Westminster Continuing Education for gardening classes.
He is past recipient of the “Garden Communicator Award” by BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) for 2006 and  the “Environmental Star Award” by the City of Burnaby for European Chafer public education. Conway Lum previously served on the European Chafer advisory committee. So if you have questions about this relatively new pest, here's your chance. 
Conway is currently serving on the provincial certification committee for BCLNA and Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association. He is one of the first three candidates to receive the “Certified Horticultural Technician for retail” in Canada (CNLA) and recently obtained “Landscape Industry Certified” technician for ornamental and turf maintenance.
Come enjoy our speakers and  browse the vendor tables at Ladner Seedy Saturday. We are excited to announce a children's activity at Ladner Seedy Saturday. You and your child will be able to participate in a unique garden craft. We will have more on that later as we get closer to the event.
If you are interested in being a vendor we have a few tables left. Its a fun day for the whole family and a great way to kickoff the gardening season. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ladner Seedy Saturday Speakers for 2016

Ladner Seedy Saturday is starting to shape up as vendor registrations come in. We still have room for vendors so if you would like to join us at this event , let me know.
We have four wonderful speakers at Ladner Seedy Saturday. Lets look at our first speaker of the day, David Catzel.

David has over 20 years experience in agriculture using organic and ecological principals.  He has had the opportunity to experiment with seed growing/breeding, low till annual production, intercropping and companion planting while working with Glorious Organics Co-op in Aldergrove, BC. He has taught workshops in gardening, composting, permaculture, and seed saving to adults and children.  David has most recently been working with BC Ecoseed Co-op, a new seed company focusing on increasing the quantity and quality of ecologically grown seeds in BC. 

I met David last year when he came as a vendor to Ladner Seedy Saturday. I also heard him speak at the South Delta Garden Club. When he talked about the new plant breeding he was doing, I was hooked. Imagine being able to create new plants. That's just what David does. It takes time and patience to develop new varieties of vegetables for the home gardener. Last fall I bought two kale plants that had been crossed with Brussel sprouts. I was online looking at seed catalogues and I see this is a new vegetable for 2016 with some growers calling it Kalette. I am wondering what David is breeding this year in his garden. 
David is an avid supporter of our small seed growers here in British Columbia. We need to think about supporting them. Plants grown and seeds harvested close to our communities are the ones best suited for our gardens. With the Canadian dollar taking a plunge let's think about spending our money closer to home. 
David will be our first speaker at 10:00am on Saturday, February 20 so bring your questions about seed saving and vegetable growing. Doors will open a bit earlier so you have plenty of time to get a seat. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Ladner Seedy Saturday 2016-45 Days to Go!

Happy New Year!! Its a busy start to the year as I receive vendor registrations for Ladner Seedy Saturday and go through all the details involved in event planning. Tables are filling up so if you came as a vendor last year, be sure to fill out the registration package soon. Last year we had 600 eager gardeners come to our event. The Harris barn was filled with people coming to listen to the garden presentations and shop with our vendors.
We hope to have master gardeners from VanDusen Botanical Garden come to help you with your garden questions.
Lets look at one of our speakers today. Randy Shore is a writer from the Vancouver Sun. I enjoy reading his column about gardening and cooking. Here is his bio:

Randy Shore

"Randy Shore's father and grandfather grew up on farms, yet he didn't even know how to grow a radish. Author of "The Green Man" column in the Vancouver Sun, he spent five years teaching himself how to grow food for his family, and then how to use the resulting bounty to create imaginative and nourishing meals the year round. His book Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow is a guide to cooking and eating sustainably year round."

Randy will by showing us his new book and answering all your garden questions. 
To read more about Randy check out his column here at the Vancouver Sun or follow him on twitter at @theGreenManblog
If you have questions about Ladner Seedy Saturday & Garden Expo 2016 please leave a message in the comments.